Gretchen Kay Condon, 89, Rochester (formerly Litchfield & Albert Lea), died on March 22, 2022 in Rochester at her residence. A Visitation will be held at Ranfranz & Vine on Wednesday, March 30th from 5 to 7, and for one hour prior to the service. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Rochester on Thursday, March 31st at 10:30 AM and livestreamed on the church’s YouTube page (https://youtu.be/V3e5WSV_irc). Burial will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis.
Gretchen Kay Kielty (born Kay Gretchen) was born on August 24th, 1932 in Minneapolis, second oldest child of Sylvester and Emma (Kobs) Kielty. She started playing accordion at age 7, eventually competing and teaching accordion. She attended St. Charles Borromeo school for elementary, St. Anthony of Padua High School, and attended the College of St. Catherine for a year. Gretchen was united in marriage with Robert (Bob) Condon on November 8, 1952, at St. Charles Borromeo in Minneapolis. They left for Norfolk, VA where Bob was stationed in the Navy. They moved back to Minneapolis, then to Albert Lea where Bob worked for Bonnerup & Son Funeral Home. Gretchen worked at the Daytime Activity Center while earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Special Education. Upon completion of her degrees she worked in special education at Ramsey School. Gretchen was active in the League of Women Voters, Knights of Columbus Auxiliary and at her church, St. Theodore’s Catholic Church. In 1980, Bob and Gretchen moved to Litchfield, MN where Gretchen taught ESL, worked in religious education, worked at West Central DAC, and again as a special education teacher. In Litchfield, she co-founded the local MCCL group, worked as an election judge, and was on the Litchfield Golf Club board. She was also an active member of the Daughters of Isabella, VFW Auxiliary and Legion Auxiliary. She was an avid bowler, golfer and bridge player. She played accordion, piano and organ for the weekly Spanish Mass at the Church of St. Philip. Gretchen loved to travel and one of her favorite destinations was the BWCA, where she traveled often with family and friends. Gretchen shared her musical talents by playing accordion or piano at sing-alongs and family events, with the “Hokey Pokey” and “Chicken Dance” being favorites. She was an adventurous grandma always coming up with things to do with the grandkids like geocaching, fishing, golfing and going to the theater.
Gretchen is survived by her seven children: Mike (Pauline) Condon of Baxter, MN; Pat (Judy) Condon of Piedmont, SD; Maureen (Greg) Beishir of St. Louis, MO; Margaret (Pat) Mulligan of Rochester, MN; Pete Condon of Rochester, MN; Melissa (Tammy) Renee of Litchfield, MN; and Polly (Jeff) Waldbillig of Rochester, MN; a daughter-in-law: Ramona Condon of Virginia Beach, VA; twelve grandchildren: Amy Van Dyne, Katie Tibbetts, Emily Beishir, Dan (Cat) Condon, Paul Condon, Kevin (Jess) Mulligan, Fr. Brian Mulligan, Jonathan (Erika Strand) Condon, Erin Mulligan, Eric Waldbillig, Gina Waldbillig and Luke Waldbillig; eighteen great-grandchildren. She is survived by her sisters, Linda Kielty of Long Prairie, MN, Sr. Jean Kielty of Chicago, IL; brothers: Tom (Gloria) Kielty of Fort Myers, FL, Terry (Joyce) Kielty of Montgomery, MN, and Dennis (Cheryl) Kielty of North Branch, MN; sister-in-law, Jan Kielty of San Jose, CA. She was recently preceded by the love of her life of sixty-nine years: Robert (Bob) Condon (2-22-22); a son: Phillip (12-18-2019); her parents: Sylvester and Emma; older sister: Beverly (Victor) Wimmer; brothers: Timothy Kielty & John Kielty. Memorials are preferred to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home in Rochester. ranfranzandvinefh.com
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